Monday, January 25, 2010

What's so special about Jade and Azurite?

So if you’ve got the book, by now you know that there are three forms of currency in Valtyr: silver (used for most transactions), jade (used for alchemy and dealings with the Brotherhood) and azurite (exclusive currency for sorcerers). Just as in our own world, the type of currency depends heavily on where you are and what you are trading for. But is there something special about jade and azurite? The book seems to hint at it, and the answer is yes, there is something unique about these two currencies.

As in all the House Rules I post, this is purely supplemental and not required at all. But if you want to add a little depth to your games try this on for size.

Jade can be used to augment anyone using the Alchemy talent tree. As the book states, anyone with Alchemy can make up to 3 types of egg, potion, flask, dust, or stone. But if they combine jade in the creation, the result is something far more potent. By adding a certain number of jade pieces into recipe (listed in [ ] below) when creating an alchemical items, the following benefits occur:

* Eggs [10 jade] = affects a large area and either adds +1 to Armor SR (fog) or stuns targets (sound)

* Potions [20 jade] = can affect 2 targets (adaption), heals 20 HP (mending), or -2 to damage caused (reflexes)

* Flasks [20 jade] = affects a medium area (explosion) or disintegrates small amount of magical matter (solvent)

* Dusts [ 30 jade] = lasts for 1 scene (doorway) or can hear through surfaces as well (window)

* Stones [50 jade] = restores both TP and VP (swallowed) or immune to stun and poisoned as well (crushed)

The Brotherhood receives no special bonus for possessing jade; it is a spiritual stone to them and they revere it purely for its aesthetic and symbolic properties. Still, that symbolism is generally the way to pay for healing, purification, blessing and auguries into the minds of the Twin Gods.

Azurite is another matter entirely. Coveted by sorcerers of all walks of life, these small, blue crystal shards are very valuable to magic users. It has three main uses, any of which can be used by a sorcerer in possession of one:

* 1 crystal of azurite can be crushed to restore 1 VP to the caster, or

* 1 crystal of azurite can be used to add +2 to an Arcane skill check, or

* 2 crystals of azurite can enhance a single spell by either adding +1D6 damage or +1 extra target

In addition, azurite is required for the creation of talismans using the Alchemy talent power. A minimum of 5 + the normal cost of the spell in azurite crystals must be sacrificed when creating a talisman. So, for example, if a sorcerer was creating a wand to store Lightning Lash, it would cost 6 azurite crystals during the creation (5 + 1, since the normal cost is 1 VP for Lightning Lash).

With the versatility azurite offers, it is prized amongst sorcerers from all over the globe. Given its rare nature, it is usually quite scarce, traded openly only where large arcane shops can be found (in places like the Citadel Towers, Nilea and to a lesser extent Syr and some underground markets in Rynell).

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